4 Toileting Tips for Dementia Caregivers

By 9  am On

Seniors with dementia tend to have difficulty using the toilet as they advance through the final stages of the disease. Your aging loved one may have incontinence due to forgetting to go to the restroom or have difficulty remembering what to do with toilet paper after wiping. These four toileting tips can help you get through the most common challenges caregivers encounter with helping their loved ones use the restroom once dementia becomes severe.

  1. Set Up a Safe Bathroom

The cognitive changes caused by dementia can make seniors do things that aren’t safe in the restroom. For instance, your loved one may accidentally lock him or herself inside and be unable to get out. If your parent lives alone, consider removing the bathroom door lock. At the very least, you can get one with a key you can make accessible to you and other caregivers. While you’re increasing bathroom safety, consider covering the hot water handles on the sink and bathtub faucets with cups or other objects to make it less likely that your loved one will be burned. You can also adjust the settings on the water heater to further reduce the risk of burns.

Older adults with dementia tend to maintain a higher quality of life when they’re able to continue living at home. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading elderly home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

  1. Make the Bathroom Easy to Identify

It’s common for seniors with dementia to have difficulty locating the bathroom. When possible, try to designate a bathroom close to your loved one’s bedroom as the primary place for him or her to use the toilet. You can also do things such as put a picture of a toilet on the door to help your loved one understand where to go. You can also paint the bathroom door a different color from the rest of the doors in the house. For men, you may want to make it easier to identify the proper place to urinate. For instance, adding color to the water differentiates the bowl from the toilet seat.

  1. Remove Confusing Objects

Bathroom mirrors can be especially troublesome for seniors with dementia, who may think the reflected images they see are other people. If your loved one hesitates to go into the restroom, consider covering up the mirror. He or she may also mistake planters or other items for the toilet. Alternatively, he or she might use a nearby washcloth or hand towel instead of toilet paper. Take a good look around the restroom to find any objects your loved one doesn’t need every day. Then remove them to prevent confusion.

Dementia is just one of the many health issues that are common among aging adults. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services Arlington, VA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

  1. Use Reminders & Timing to Reduce Accidents

Incontinence is uncomfortable and can be unhealthy for seniors, and it’s best for your loved one to make it to the toilet when possible. Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to ask your parent if he or she needs to use the restroom. Your loved one may need to be asked every two to four hours. You may also notice a pattern in his or her toileting habits, such as needing to go after a certain amount of time following meals.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional senior home care. Arlington families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Call Assisting Hands Home Care today at (703) 997-4334 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.